MARTINS FERRY - Martins Ferry started with a bang and finished with a flourish Wednesday night in earning its first prep volleyball victory of the season inside the Tolbert Gymnasium.
Morgan Carpenter collected 11 points, two aces, three digs, six assists and four kills as the Purple Riders swept the Huskies 25-8, 25-18, 25-13 in a Buckeye 8 tilt.
After dropping its first two matches of the season to Barnesville and Indian Creek, Martins Ferry Head Coach Chuck Probst saw his youthful squad take another step in the maturation process.
Martins Ferry’s Sarah Staats (1) and Harrison Central’s Jesse Ledger (11) and Katie Stackhouse (3) battle at the net during Wednesday night’s match inside Ferry’s Tolbert Gymnasium. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.net
''I think it's coming along and we'll continue to get better as the season goes along,'' he said. ''The girls are excited because this is their first win.''
The Purple Riders (1-2) scored the first six points of the match en route to taking the first set handily.
Ferry never trailed in the second set, but it wasn't as easy. Harrison Central Head Coach Sarah Wilden shuffled her lineup and the changes made a difference.
''We really tried to put a dent in their momentum,'' she said. ''I put some new players in there that really hadn't been in there. I think that woke some people up and really brought us back.''
The Huskies carried its own momentum into the third set and surged to a 4-3 lead. But the Purple Riders answered with eight unanswered points, forcing Wilden to call time to calm her squad.
Ferry stretched its lead to 13-5, but the Huskies rallied, scoring six of the next seven points, forcing Probst to call a time out of his own.
''They were getting a little slow and a little sloppy,'' he said of his unit.
''We asked the girls to put on a final push. We thought we had control of the match.''
And push they did.
The Purple Riders scored 10 of the match's final 12 points.
''I'm proud of the girls in the way they performed,'' Probst said. ''We're glad to come out with the win.
''We lost a good group of seniors from last season so now our team is starting to mesh and starting to understand each other and their responsibilities on the floor which is making a difference now.''
Brooklyn Monroe added 11 points for Ferry, to go along with three aces and five digs. Tyrah King had nine points, three aces and eight kills; Shaye DeLeonardis had had nine points, two aces, three digs, 12 assists, five kills and a block; Mercedez McLeod recorded four points, three kills, an ace and a dig; Breanne Long had four points, two digs and an ace; Lauren Bennett had a point and nine digs; Katie Sutherland compiled a point, two digs, two assists and four kills; Kelsey Spielvogel had two assists and a dig; and Sarah Staats had five kills and a dig.
Katie Stackhouse had six points and six kills for the Huskies (0-5), while Jesse Ledger and Kaylee Toland each recorded seven digs.
Ferry also won the jayvee match 25-21, 25-11.
Thorp can be reached at email@example.com